2024 BYD Seal Performance Review

The BYD Seal is here to take on the facelifted Tesla Model 3, but can the Performance variant dethrone the Model 3 Performance?

Matt Brand
Expert reviewer
Updated on
February 9, 2024
Saucey score


  • Really, really fast
  • Luxurious interior
  • Very competitive pricing


  • Suspension too soft for performance claims
  • Lack of polish to some features
  • Real world range isn't great
Car specs

390 kW + 670 Nm


15.9 kWh/100km

5 Star ANCAP

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The BYD Seal electric car is one of the most hyped EVs of the year, considering it goes head to head with the just updated Tesla Model 3 ‘Highland’.

Offering some of the best power-to-dollar ratios on the market, especially with the performance variant we’re testing here today that claims a 0-100km/h of just 3.8 seconds, we’re looking into the question - is the BYD Seal enough to dethrone the venerable Tesla Model 3?

Let’s talk about that in today’s review!

BYD Seal Price and Model 3 comparison

With its 2024 lineup, the BYD Seal presents a compelling alternative to the recently facelifted Tesla Model 3 variants in the Australian market. Each grade of the BYD Seal aligns closely with a corresponding Tesla Model 3 variant, offering an intriguing comparison in terms of pricing, power, and range.

Dynamic vs. Tesla Model 3 (RWD):

The BYD Seal Dynamic, starting at $49,888 before on-road costs, competes directly with the Tesla Model 3, priced at $61,900. The Seal Dynamic features a 150kW motor and a 61.44kWh battery, delivering a 460km WLTP range. In contrast, the Tesla Model 3, equipped with rear-wheel drive, offers a 513km WLTP range, a top speed of 201km/h, and a 0-100km/h time of 6.1 seconds. Despite the Model 3's slightly longer range and marginally quicker acceleration, the Seal Dynamic undercuts it in price, offering a more budget-friendly entry point into the EV market.

Premium vs. Model 3 Long Range:

Moving up, the BYD Seal Premium, priced from $58,798, stands against the Tesla Model 3 Long Range, which has a sticker price of $71,900. The Seal Premium boasts a 230kW motor and a larger 82.56kWh battery, achieving a 570km range and a 0-100km/h time of 5.9 seconds. In comparison, the Model 3 Long Range, with its dual-motor setup, delivers a 629km range, matching the top speed of 201km/h, and accelerating from 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds. While the Tesla offers superior range and acceleration, the BYD Seal Premium is notably less expensive, making it a value-packed proposition for those prioritising cost over the ultimate range and speed.

Performance AWD vs Model 3 Performance:

The top-tier BYD Seal Performance AWD is priced from $68,748. It features a dual-motor setup totalling 390kW and achieves a 0-100km/h time of just 3.8 seconds with a 520km range. The pricing for the upcoming Tesla Model 3 Performance variant has not been announced, making a direct comparison challenging. However, given the historical pricing trends of Tesla, it's likely that the Model 3 Performance will be positioned at a higher price point, considering its performance credentials.

In summary, the BYD Seal offers a range of models that provide competitive alternatives to the Tesla Model 3 lineup. 

The Seal's lower price point across its range, combined with its respectable performance and range figures, makes it an attractive option for those seeking value and performance in the EV market.

However, the BYD Seal does lose out on outright driving performance and dynamics as we’ll discuss a little later.

BYD Seal Price Summary:

  • Dynamic: $49,888, 61.44kWh battery, 150kW motor, 460km range (WLTP)
  • Premium: $58,798, 82.56kWh battery, 230kW motor, 570km range (WLTP)
  • Performance AWD: $68,748, 82.5kWh battery, 390kW (combined) dual-motor, 520km range (WLTP)

Note that pricing is before on-road costs.

What’s the interior and tech like of the BYD Seal Performance?

Arguably the most prominent place the BYD Seal beats out the Tesla Model 3 is in its interior.

Unlike the BYD Atto 3 or BYD Dolphin, the interior design of the Seal is entirely sedate in design, which works to its benefit.

Despite it’s relatively affordable price point, the Seal boasts leather on many surfaces and Alcantara like suede, and it really does feel like a luxurious experience. Far better material quality than what you’d find in the more expensive Model 3.

However, it is also clearly inspired by the Tesla Model 3, with dual wireless chargers above the centre console and mechanical air vents that can only be adjusted through the infotainment display. 

Unfortunately for the Seal, as with many Chinese cars at the moment, although rich in features, the polish of some of these features isn’t fantastic.

For instance, adjusting the vents is far more cumbersome than it needs to be through the display, with misregistering and general non-compliance quite common.

The leather seats, despite being heated and cooled and with 10-way adjustment, could provide some more adjustment, including lumbar support, which I could barely feel despite extending as far as possible.

Minor complaints, I know, but if you’re living with this day-in-and-out, you’ll likely notice it.

Technology within the Seal is phenomenal, however. The 15.6” touchscreen is extremely snappy, with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (would be better wireless) through a USB-A port. You also get a USB-C port and 12v socket with a large centre storage area under the centre console.

The BYD Seal retains its party trick of being able to rotate the display 90 degrees to switch between landscape and portrait mode, though the novelty wears off quite quickly. Considering phone mirroring only works in landscape mode, that’s where it stayed for me.

Shoutout to the amazing 360-degree camera as well, it’s seriously one of the best I’ve ever seen and makes parking a breeze.

Unlike a Model 3, you also get a digital instrument cluster, which - let’s be honest - is a lot safer. It’s relatively small but shows plenty of information, so no complaints from me. And frankly, thanks to the heads-up display, you don’t need to take your eyes off the road.

The only addition inside the Performance trim that gets over the premium is a heated function for the leather steering, which otherwise remains the same. It's not a bad thing, considering it’s very comfortable to hold onto, with plenty of buttons to control most interior functions.

In all, the interior space of the Seal is very impressive, and dollar for dollar is a much better place to spend time versus the Model 3.

What about the back seats of the BYD Seal Performance?

The rear seats of the BYD Seal are mostly good.

At 5’11” and sitting behind my normal driving position, I have plenty of leg, head, and toe room. 

Unfortunately, under-thigh support is not great and the floor is quite high thanks to the battery placement, so longer journey’s might feel somewhat tiresome for adults in the rear.

However, you still get the same nice leather on the seats with a centre console and a couple of cupholders.

You also get 2 air vents in the rear, with a USB-A and USB-C port too.

How much can fit in the boot of the BYD Seal Performance?

Boot space is again somewhat compromised.

You get 400 litres of boot space, which is quite deep but relatively narrow.

There is some underfloor storage, which can also house your included home 240v charger and a Dynaudio branded subwoofer for the impressive sound system.

You also get a frunk (front-trunk) with 50 additional litres of boot space, which is quite good.

What’s under the bonnet of the BYD Seal Performance?

Although we’re testing the Performance variant, the whole range of Seal’s offer an impressive set of performance specifications.

The 2024 BYD Seal is available in three distinct variants, each offering unique drivetrain and battery configurations catering to various driving needs and preferences.

BYD Seal Dynamic (Standard Range):

  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Power and Torque: 150kW and 310Nm
  • Battery: 61.4kWh
  • Charging: 110kW DC CCS2 port
  • Range: 460km WLTP

The Dynamic serves as the entry point into the Seal range, offering a balanced combination of power and efficiency with its rear-wheel drivetrain and modestly-sized battery.

BYD Seal Premium (Extended Range):

  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Power and Torque: 230kW and 360Nm
  • Battery: 82.5kWh
  • Charging: 150kW DC CCS2 port
  • Range: 570km WLTP

The Premium increases power and a larger battery, providing extended range and a more dynamic driving experience while maintaining a rear-wheel-drive setup.

BYD Seal Performance (AWD):

  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • Power and Torque: 390kW combined (160kW front, 230kW rear) and 670Nm
  • Battery: 82.5kWh
  • Charging: 150kW DC CCS2 port
  • Range: 520km WLTP

The Performance variant is the pinnacle of the Seal lineup, offering a high-powered all-wheel-drive system and the largest battery capacity for exhilarating performance and substantial range.

How does the BYD Seal Performance drive?

First of all, the BYD Seal Performance is very clearly fast. Like, FAST fast.

Plant your foot on the accelerator, and you can very much expect to have your head violently shoved into the rather soft headrest.

Although we timed the 0-100km/h sprint at 4.09 seconds, it’s not far off the 3.8 second claim. 

In fact it probably could reach that claim if it were on stickier tyres, but unfortunately, the BYD Seal is delivered with Continental Ecocontact 6 tyres which prioritise range over performance.

The biggest takeaway when driving the Seal was how premium it feels. The solid cabin, heavy steering wheel weighting and plush ride mean that it drives far more comfortably than a Tesla Model 3, which can definitely be accused of stiff suspension.

Speaking of suspension, the Performance variant of the Seal gains frequency selective dampers, which are still very much tuned for comfort.

It also adds torque vectoring to its motors, which can dynamically shift power as you corner to ensure maximum grip.

However, much like the MG4 XPower we recently reviewed, the Seal is far better in a straight line versus cornering through twisties.

The Seal Performance, though undoubtedly very competent around a corner, had a noticeable amount of body roll through corners despite it’s low centre of gravity.

It also suffers from a very common issue with dual-motor electric cars, which is a disconnect between the front and rear motor when cornering. This can lead to some bouts of understeer or oversteer, depending on which motor decides to take the lead, dependant on traction.

The grip was also primarily fine, though let down by the economy-focused tyres which could chirp under hard throttle.

Really the takeaway for me was in daily driving conditions, the BYD Seal is able to easily win out in the comfort and ease of drive categories versus a Tesla Model 3 thanks to its more relaxed tuning.

It feels more like a grand tourer, where you get a nice plush ride, premium interior and plenty of performance on tap.

In terms of efficiency, the story for us was not fantastic. Although claiming a WLTP of 520km, which equates to approximately 15.9 kWh/100km - we were seeing figures closer to 20 kWh/100km which would put us as a real world range of approximately 413km. This isn't great, though okay.

However, the fine details of the drive - much like the interior - probably require some more fine-tuning if BYD hopes to take on the Model 3’s overall superior ride and handling tune and also better range and efficiency.

Is the BYD Seal Performance Safe?

The BYD Seal is a very safe car.

Under the strict 2023 ANCAP safety testing protocols, which includes submerging cars in water to assess exit-ability, the BYD Seal achieved a 5-Star ANCAP safety rating.

It comes with the following safety equipment:

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking: Both forward and reverse capabilities.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control: Maintains a set distance from the vehicle ahead.
  • Blind-Spot Monitoring: Alerts the driver to vehicles in blind spots.
  • Front and Rear Cross-Traffic Assist: Assists in detecting traffic from the sides at intersections and while reversing.
  • Lane-Keep Assist & Emergency Lane-Keep Assist: Helps keep the vehicle within its lane and intervenes in potential lane departure situations.
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Assist: Aids in detecting vehicles approaching from the sides when reversing.
  • Traffic Sign Recognition: Identifies and displays traffic signs.
  • Intelligent Speed Limit Assist: Helps the driver adhere to speed limits.
  • Surround-View Camera: Provides a 360-degree view around the vehicle for easier maneuvering.
  • Front and Rear Parking Sensors: Assists in safe parking.
  • Airbag System: Includes dual front airbags, a driver’s far-side airbag, and side and curtain airbags for both rows.
  • Safe Exit Warning: Alerts occupants to hazards when opening doors.
  • Rear Occupant Alert: Reminds the driver to check the rear seats.

What are the specs and features of the BYD Seal?

2024 BYD Seal Dynamic:

  • 150kW single-motor rear-wheel drive with a 61.4kWh battery
  • 18-inch alloy wheels with a tire repair kit
  • Dusk-sensing LED headlights
  • LED daytime-running lights and tail-lights (with sequential indicators)
  • 15.6-inch rotating infotainment touchscreen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Satellite navigation with over-the-air updates
  • FM/DAB digital radio (no AM support)
  • 10.25-inch digital instrument display
  • Synthetic leather-look seat upholstery (available in black/grey or Ocean Blue)
  • Synthetic leather-look steering wheel trim
  • Eight-way power driver’s seat and six-way power passenger seat
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • 12-speaker 775W Dynaudio sound system
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control with heat pump and rear air vents
  • Keyless entry and start
  • Dual wireless phone chargers
  • Panoramic glass roof
  • Power tailgate
  • Two USB-C and two USB-A ports (front and rear)
  • Rear privacy glass
  • Power-folding heated side mirrors
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Rear-view and 360-degree camera
  • Comprehensive safety features including autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, front and rear cross-traffic alert with braking, door exit warning, traffic sign recognition, automatic high beams, and nine airbags (including front-center and rear-side)

2024 BYD Seal Premium (In addition to the Dynamic features):

  • 230kW single-motor rear-wheel drive with an 82.5kWh battery
  • Upgraded brakes with drilled front rotors and fixed front calipers
  • 19-inch alloy wheels with Continental tires
  • Head-up display
  • "Genuine" leather seat upholstery and steering wheel trim
  • Four-way power driver's seat lumbar adjustment
  • Memory settings for the driver's seat and side mirrors (with auto-dipping in reverse)

2024 BYD Seal Performance (In addition to the Premium features):

  • 390kW dual-motor all-wheel drive with an 82.5kWh battery
  • Frequency-selective dampers
  • Torque vectoring technology
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Electronic child lock

It's available in exterior colors such as Arctic Blue, Atlantis Grey, Polar White, Cosmos Black, and Shark Grey. Interior color options include Ocean Blue and Thaumas Black.

How much does the BYD Seal Performance cost to run?

The BYD Seal comes with a comprehensive six-year warranty with a 150,000km limit. Plus, for the initial year, there's a 24/7 roadside assistance on the house.

There are some caveats to keep in mind, however. Warranty Coverage:

  • Electric motor components and associated high-voltage elements: Guaranteed for eight years or up to 160,000km.
  • Essentials like lighting systems, suspension elements, tyre pressure sensors, and ball joints: Four years or 100,000km.
  • The 12V battery has coverage for a year or up to 12,000km.
  • For the entertainment system, along with specific parts such as the shock dampeners, wheel bearings, and charging ports, the warranty extends to three years or 60,000km.

For any service needs, owners can head to an authorised BYD Service and Repair facility, or select independent mycar locations. 

Regular maintenance checks should be done either annually or every 20,000km. Additionally, BYD offers a complimentary inspection at the three-month mark or once 5,000km have been clocked.

What’s CarSauce’s take on the BYD Seal Performance?

For those expecting a better electric sedan than a Tesla Model 3 at a lower price, you’ll be disappointed. 

It’s got a fantastic interior and some eye-popping straight-line performance, but it’s lack of feature and drivetrain polish hold it back from dethroning the Tesla Model 3 for now.

Still, the BYD Seal offers fantastic value electric motoring for those looking for all the bells and whistles, and so long as you keep your expectations grounded, you’ll likely be thrilled owning the Seal.

It’s an easy recommendation!

Saucey score breakdown

Maintenance Costs and Warranty
Fuel (or EV) Efficiency
Interior Design and Features
Value for Money
Technology and Innovation
Is it fit-for-purpose?
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Matt Brand
Matt Brand, the esteemed car critic from Car Sauce, offers unparalleled expertise on all things automotive. From new car releases to pre-owned options, he provides in-depth analysis and honest evaluations to guide readers through the car-buying process. Join us as he delves into the exciting world of motoring.
Car specs

390 kW + 670 Nm


15.9 kWh/100km

5 Star ANCAP

Buy a Car!
No Obligations, Hassle Free.

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